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Employers should pay 13th and 14th salaries voluntarily

Employers welcome the proposal, but trade unions still have some objections to the principle.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: TASR)

A proposal for companies to introduce 13th and 14th salaries will be submitted to parliament by MPs for the coalition Slovak National Party (SNS). It is expected to define the exact conditions of when and how employers will pay these salaries to their employees and specify a gradual exemption from paying levies.

The payment should be on a voluntary basis, said the Finance Ministry’s State Secretary Dana Meager, after the January 30 meeting of the representatives of employers and employees at the Labour Ministry.

Parliament will discuss the proposal during the current session that began on January 30, the TASR newswire reported.

Part of the Labour Code amendment

The changes are expected to be part of the amendment to the Labour Code written by Smer MPs, which also proposes an increase in surcharges. Employees should receive the 13th salary for the first time this June, providing they have been working for the company for at least two years. The party proposes that the bonus salaries should amount to €500.

Read also:Christmas and year-end bonuses are not a given in Europe

If employees have worked for a firm for at least four years, they will receive a 14th salary cheque, providing that they also receive the 13th, TASR wrote.

“We are talking about a situation where it is hoped that employers will pay the 13th and 14th salaries on a voluntary basis,” Meager said, as quoted by TASR. “We face a particular phenomenon in the labour market that we would like to eliminate, i.e. the payment of these bonuses in cash.”

The proposal is also expected to concern the gradual elimination of the social and health levies from these bonus salaries.

Employers and employees respond

Deputy chair of the Federation of Employers’ Associations, Rastislav Machunka, is pleased that the bonuses will be paid on a voluntary basis.

“I perceive the proposal positively as it is one of the few political decisions made recently that will not impact the business environment negatively,” Machunka said, as quoted by TASR. This, in itself, might become a motivation for employers to pay the 13th and 14th salaries.”

Read also:Coalition solves salary dispute

The National Union of Employers (RÚZ) hopes the voluntary principle will be kept even after a change of the government.

The Confederation of Trade Union Organisations (KOZ) still has some objections to the proposal.

“We have voiced our disapproval over some of the changes,” said Jozef Kollár, president of KOZ, as quoted by TASR, adding that this mostly concerns the voluntary aspect of the bonus payments. “We also object to the proposal that the 13th and 14th salaries will not be calculated as part of an employee’s average salary.”

He added that some companies have signed collective agreements that already contain the promise to pay the bonus salaries, explaining that if they are not part of the average, people will lose money if they go on vacation or need any substitute to their salary.

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